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Warpath: Jurassic Park
"The gameplay, control and graphics may just lift it above the sea of average fighters out there. It's definitely worth a play!" Image Loading...
Developer: Black Ops
Distributor: EA
Game Type: Fighting
Review Date: Dec 99
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Setting the Scene:
       Well now they've really gone and done it! Scientists have recently managed to obtain some prehistoric DNA and have successfully done some gene splicing and cross pollination to enable them to successfully clone dinosaurs!

Thinking there has to be a way to make some serious cash out of this, a shrewd marketer comes up with a plan to place these newly created dinosaurs on an isolated island and make an exhibit out of them. Believing that people will pay big bucks to come and see these creatures roaming freely, the project gets underway.

Of course the dinosaurs don't exactly decide to cooperate in this plan and in short time make mince meat out of the newly created park and its people. Not having anything better to do with their time, and being rather prehistoric in their thoughts the mighty dino's decide to fight each other…with the winner being the supreme ruler of the island.

Get ready to take the controls of your dinosaur of choice and see if you can become king of the hill or just another worthless carcass littering an already bloody landscape.
Sound and Vision:
      Ever seen one of the Jurassic Park flicks before? Remember the scene with the T-Rex chasing the jeep in the 1st movie? Did you take note of the deep bass that ensued each time the mighty dino's foot made contact with the earth? That tremendous THUD is duplicated perfectly each time a dinosaur is tossed to the ground…BOOM. There are also superb bones crunching effects, explosions, ROARS…it's a regular sound effects extravaganza folks right down to the crackling high-tension wires that exude with electrical authority. You'll definitely want to crank up the effects in this game!

The music from the movies is in there too with all of the dramatic orchestration and punch that will add spark to an already delightful game. The score plays constantly throughout the game (even on the menu screens) and really creates the proper atmosphere.

Image Loading...The graphics are really something to see here. The dinosaur models are extremely well crafted with what seems to be a wonderful skinning effect. The muscles underneath the dino's seem to ripple with life and the overall appearance is nice and smooth instead of the usual rough edges that we normally see.

The animation is smooth as silk and it really something to see in action. I was surprised at just how well each of the creatures looked and reacted to my controls. There is also a good deal of visible damage that occurs during a fight. As you rip big chunks of flesh from your opponent you can see the soft tissue beneath. Blood stained teeth are also apparent and just another of the special graphical effects in the title. These injuries will stay with the creatures throughout the match until a winner is declared instead of just going away after each round. Sweet!

Image Loading...The backgrounds are also unbelievable. The immediate foreground is all done in 3D polygons with the distant background pre-rendered. Good parallax scrolling techniques are employed to give a really good sense of depth and motion. In addition, the immediate arenas are also quite interactive with boxes that can be broken, electrical wires that you can fry your opponent on and all sorts of other stuff that can be destroyed during your melee.
      Fighting games are a dime a dozen on the Playstation…hell GOOD fighting games are a dime a dozen. If there is a genre that has really propagated itself on the little gray console it's fighters…oh, and racers too…but that's for another review. To really stand out in this crowded arena a new fighting title needs to really have something that shouts "Hey check me out! I'm different from all of the rest!"

Well, grabbing the Jurassic Park/Lost World license and popping dinosaurs into the game instead of "people styled" characters was a stroke of genius. In Warpath gamers get to choose from 8 initial dinosaurs (6 more can be unlocked) and battle it out to the death.

Image Loading...While I liked the concept, I must say that I was somewhat skeptical as to how the characters would control and react. Luckily once I started playing my concern was quickly squashed. In addition to the normal button mashing that generally rules in fighting games, each dino has their own special move that can be executed by pushing a series of buttons in the right order...which essentially ends up as a well performed combo. I also liked the fact that the dodge command actually works in this fighter and the jump/crouch commands actually have a strategic use during the battles. You will also notice that during a battle tiny people, sheep, lizards, etc. can be seen (and heard) running about on the playing field. These are dino snacks…feel free to gobble one up in between hits to add to your health bar! Yummy!

Now, if you are looking for depth of gameplay like that found in the Tekken series though, you may wish to look elsewhere. Warpath's approach is a much more in your face attack or become dino meat style of play. Hey, that works for me when I am in the mood for some quick pick-up play!

The menu setup is a good one and allows for a lot of customization before actual gameplay. Heck, you can even choose if you want to place the info/health bars on the bottom or top of the screen…I love flexibility like this.

Image Loading...There are also your customary selections for fights that include Arcade, Vs., Team Battle and Practice Mode's. Playing through the Arcade Mode with selected dinosaurs can also open up additional modes like Survival and Choice. The Arcade Mode is your one-player choice for also opening up the additional dino's that can be found in the game. You need to battle through eight stages to be the victor…there are also unlimited continues that you can use if you kill somewhere on your road to success.

The game also includes a nice little section called the Museum Mode. It is here that you can view all of your currently available dinosaurs and obtain all sorts of interesting information such as the time period that they lived (all appear to be from the Cretaceous Period), their length, height and weight and some other trivia to boot.

Image Loading...Overall, Warpath ends up being a really decent fighter. I liked the fact that the backgrounds are 3D and a lot of the objects in the immediate arena can be crushed causing explosions and harm to your opponent (or yourself!). The fighting engine is a good one and while button mashing pretty much rules, there are some cool combo moves that you can pull off that have some devastating results. There is also something in the game called a "Blood Rage". This occurs when your BR meter fills up. At this time player attacks cause much more damage as their creatures are in a furious rage. Gameplay is nice and tight and the two-player action was quite enjoyable. The only problem here is that Warpath may become just another novelty fighter with the initial joy of fighting dinosaurs wearing a bit thin due to the lack of depth in the gameplay. Personally I view the game as a worthy fighter in its own right that I really enjoyed playing but in the same breath I wouldn't dare compare it to the likes of Tekken or DOA or Tobol…..
Game Options:
      This is a 1 disk game for 1 or 2 Players. It is compatible with the standard (digital) joypad and the analog stick controls of the dual shock joypad. Games can be saved via memory card (1 block per save).

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Staff Opinions  
Tom: "Warpath ended up being a surprisingly competent fighter. I loved the idea of battling dinosaurs and felt the control system was up to par with other good fighters out there today.

The graphics are very well done with character models that are above average and nice 3D backgrounds to boot. The music is stripped right from the Jurassic Park movies and the sound effects reflect the overall feel of the game perfectly.

While I feel this game may end up being another novelty fighter, the gameplay, control and graphics may just lift it above the sea of average fighters out there. It's definitely worth a play! "
Graphics: 17/20
Playability: 42/50
Sound: 9/10
Lastability: 17/20
Overall: 85%
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Reader Opinions  

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